Archive FAQ > Comments and Kudos

What are comments?

Comments are a method of leaving feedback on a work. Each work, or each chapter of a work, has a textbox at the end where you can input your remarks. You can also leave comments on AO3 News posts.

Existing comments on a work are at the bottom of the work's page; however, they're hidden by default. Select the "Comments" button at the top or bottom of the work to reveal the work's comments. Selecting the "Comments" button at the top of the page will also scroll down to the bottom of the page for you.

Note that a work can have multiple pages of comments; each page will show 20 comment threads. (Refer to What is a comment thread? for more information on how comment threading works.) You can navigate between the pages of comments by using the "Previous" and "Next" buttons, or the individual page numbers, which are located above and below the comment threads.

The work blurb will also display the number of comments a work has. For example, a work's blurb might say "Comments: 9". Where a work blurb appears in listings and search results, you can select that number to take you to the work and reveal its existing comments.

How do I post a comment?

Each work, or each chapter of a work, has an empty textbox at the end. Enter your comment into the textbox and select the "Comment" button below it to submit. You can use HTML to format your comments. For a list of allowed HTML tags, refer to How do I style text in my comments?

Your comment will be added to the end of the section, below the existing comments. If there are multiple pages of comments, yours will be added to the end of the last page.

You can also respond to comments other people have left, which will form a comment thread. Select the "Reply" button on the comment you want to respond to, and input your text in the textbox that opens. Once you're done composing your reply, select the "Comment" button to submit it. Your comment will be attached immediately below the one you were replying to. For more information on comment replies and threads, refer to What is a comment thread? How does comment threading work?

How do I identify myself when I comment?

If you're logged in to the Archive when you post a comment, then your comment will be posted under your default pseud. If you'd like to post under a different pseud, you can select one from the "Comment as" menu. Refer to the Pseuds FAQ to learn more about what a pseud is and how it works.

If you're not logged in, or if you don't have an Archive of Our Own account, you can leave an anonymous comment, as long as the work creator has not disabled anonymous comments on that work. Refer to Can I post comments anonymously, or if I don't have an Archive account? for more information.

Can I post comments anonymously, or if I don't have an Archive account?

By default, you can comment anonymously on any work in the Archive; however, the work creator can also disable this function if they choose. To learn how to disable anonymous commenting, refer to Can I disable anonymous comments on my works?

Anonymous comments require you to provide a name and a valid email address. The name will be displayed, but the email address will not. You will receive any comment replies at the email address you provided.

Can I disable anonymous comments on my works?

You can prevent anyone who is not a logged-in Archive user from commenting on your work. To do this, go to the Edit Work page (refer to How do I edit a work?). In the Privacy section, select the option "Disable anonymous commenting". Then select the "Post Without Preview" button, or select the "Preview" button and then the "Update" button to save your changes.

To disable anonymous commenting on more than one work at a time, you can use the Edit Multiple Works page. Refer to How do I edit multiple works at the same time? to find out how to change the settings for multiple works.

What is a comment thread? How does comment threading work?

Comment threads are like conversations: one person leaves a comment, and all subsequent replies to that comment are part of one comment thread. For example, if somebody comments on one of your works saying, "Wow! This is great, have you published anything else on the Archive?" and you reply, "Yes! Here's a link to one of my other works!", the original comment and all its replies are one comment thread.

If you respond to other comments, your replies will be directly below the comments you respond to. These will be indented to show they are replies from the same thread.

A thread might be only one comment, or it could be many comments. If a comment thread contains a long series of nested replies (where each comment is an indented reply to the previous comment), only the first five will be shown. The remainder of the nested replies will be collapsed and a message will show "(# more comments in this thread)".

To access them, select the "Thread" button on one of the comments shown. This will take you to a new page displaying all the replies starting from that comment.

How can I reveal all the replies to my comment?

To reveal all the replies to a particular comment, select the "Thread" button on the comment. This will take you to a new page displaying all the replies starting from that comment.

For more information on comment replies and threads, refer to What is a comment thread? How does comment threading work?

How long can my comment be?

The maximum length for a comment is 4300 total characters (including any HTML formatting). To find out what HTML formatting you can add to your comments, refer to How do I style text in my comments?

If you try to enter a longer comment, it won't be posted and an error message will be displayed. You'll need to split the text up into two or more shorter comments.

When using the default site skin, the number of characters you have left to use in your comment is displayed below the comment entry box.

How do I style text in my comments?

You can use a limited selection of HTML to format your text. The following HTML tags are allowed:

a, abbr, acronym, address, b, big, blockquote, br, caption, center, cite, code, col, colgroup, dd, del, dfn, div, dl, dt, em, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, hr, i, img, ins, kbd, li, ol, p, pre, q, s, samp, small, span, strike, strong, sub, sup, table, tbody, td, tfoot, th, thead, tr, tt, u, ul, var

Can I edit or delete my comment?

When you're logged in to the Archive, you can edit a comment you've made as long as no-one else has replied to it. Possible edits to a comment include changing its content or the pseud assigned to it. (For more information on changing the pseud assigned to a comment, refer to How do I identify myself when I comment?)

You can also delete a comment you've made, regardless of whether another visitor has replied to it. If you delete a comment that has a reply, the deleted comment will be replaced with "(Previous comment deleted.)". In the default site skin, there are "Edit" and "Delete" buttons on comments you're able to edit or delete.

If you select the "Edit" button, your comment will then appear in a textbox in HTML format. You can make your edits and then select the "Update" button to save your changes. If you change your mind, select "Cancel" to close the textbox. If you edit a comment, the work creator will receive a notification about the edited comment.

If you select the "Delete" button, the site will prompt you with "Are you sure you want to delete this comment?" From there you can select either "Yes, Delete!" to confirm, or "Cancel" to keep the comment.

If you were not logged in to the Archive when you left the comment, you will not be able to edit it. Only the work’s creator(s) will be able to delete it, or Archive admins, if necessary.

Can I edit or delete a comment someone else left on one of my works?

You can't edit other people's comments, but you can delete comments made on your own works. When you're logged in, all comments on your works (including your own comments) will have a "Delete" button. Once you select the "Delete" option, you'll be asked "Are you sure you want to delete this comment?" From there you can select either "Yes, Delete!" to confirm, or "Cancel" to keep the comment.

If you delete a comment that has a reply, the deleted comment will be replaced with a message reading "(Previous comment deleted.)". If you want to delete an entire comment thread but avoid the "(Previous comment deleted.)" placeholders, you will have to delete all the comments in reverse chronological order. In other words, you have to delete the most recent reply (the most indented comment), then work your way backwards until you delete the original comment.

If the comment in question is spam left by a guest account, you can also report it as spam rather than deleting it. For information on how to do this and why you might want to, refer to What is a spam comment? What can I do about spam?

Can I have comments sent to my email?

By default, any comments left on your works will be sent to both the email address you provided for your account and your Archive inbox. Similarly, you'll receive an email notification each time someone replies to a comment you made while logged into your Archive of Our Own account.

You can turn off comment notification messages to your Archive inbox, your email address, or both. Refer to How do I change the way I receive comment notifications? for more information.

If you aren't receiving these notifications despite having the option enabled, it's possible they are being caught in your spam filter. In order to ensure that the notification isn't blocked by your email server, you can add do-not-reply@archiveofourown.org to your safelist.

If you leave a comment while logged out, or if you don't have an account, then replies to your comment will be emailed to the address you provided when you left the comment. For more information on commenting while not logged in to an Archive account, refer to Can I post comments anonymously, or if I don't have an Archive account?

What is a spam comment? What can I do about spam?

Please refer to the section on spam and commercial promotion from our Terms of Service for the definition of a spam comment.

Spam comments are often anonymous comments, rather than comments from an Archive user. If you receive a spam comment from a guest, you can mark it as spam. When using the default site skin, there is a "Spam" button on the bottom right of all guest comments. Selecting this button will hide the comment from other users, but leave it accessible to site administrators.

Comments marked as spam will still count towards the total number of comments in a work, so by using this method you can hide spam comments without affecting your comment stats. However, if you contact Abuse or Support and ask for them to be deleted, the comment total will go down after they are removed. For more information about stats on the Archive, refer to the Statistics FAQ.

Alternatively, you can select the "Delete" button to delete the comment altogether; however, doing so may prevent Abuse from being able to investigate that comment. For further information on deleting a comment, refer to Can I edit or delete a comment someone else left on one of my works?

There is no "Spam" button for comments left by an Archive user. If you are receiving spam or harassment from an Archive user, refer to What can I do if I receive spam/harassing/offensive comments from an Archive user? for how to take action.

For more information on spam, refer to the Content Policies and Abuse Procedures from our Terms of Service FAQ.

What can I do if I receive spam/harassing/offensive comments from an Archive user?

Please refer to the Terms of Service for the Archive's definition of spam and what constitutes harassment on AO3.

If you're receiving comments from an Archive user that you feel are violating the Terms of Service, please contact Abuse. For more information on how the Abuse team handles such reports, refer to the Content Policies and Abuse Procedures from our Terms of Service FAQ.

There is no "Spam" button for comments left by an Archive user; again, the best way to deal with these types of comments is to report them to Abuse. Please note that if you delete the spam comment in question, this may prevent Abuse from being able to investigate the issue.

If you are receiving spam comments from a guest account, however, you do have the option to mark them as spam. For more information on how to deal with spam from guest accounts, refer to What is a spam comment? What can I do about spam?

How do I moderate comments on my works?

Turning on comment moderation for a work is done via the posting and editing form: the page that appears when you go to post a new work, or to edit a work you've already posted.

To post a new work with comment moderation enabled:

Navigate to the Post New Work page (for full instructions on creating a new work, refer to the Posting a Work on AO3 tutorial) and scroll down to the section labeled "Privacy". Select the option Enable comment moderation. Fill out the rest of the fields as normal, and publish your work to the Archive.

To turn on comment moderation for your existing works:

Navigate to the Edit Work page (for full instructions on how to edit a work, refer to How do I edit a work?) and scroll down to the section labeled "Privacy". Select the option Enable comment moderation, then hit "Post Without Preview" to commit your changes. Or, if you have other changes you want to preview first, select "Preview" to check them and then "Update" to save the changes.

Once comment moderation is turned on for a work, new comments posted on that work won't be made public until a creator has manually reviewed and approved them. The exception to this is comments made by the work's creator(s), which are automatically approved.

If you have comment notification emails enabled, you’ll be able to access and review individual comments directly using the links at the bottom of each notification email. For more information about how comment notification emails work, refer to Can I have comments sent to my email? You can also review all comments on a work you created by accessing the work and selecting the button at the top labelled "Unreviewed Comments".

To turn comment moderation off again for any of your works, navigate to the Edit Work page, scroll down to the "Privacy" section and uncheck the box next to Enable comment moderation. Then hit "Post Without Preview" to commit your changes.

Can I enable or disable comment moderation for several works at the same time?

Yes! You can enable or disable comment moderation for multiple works using the Edit Multiple Works page. For information on how to access this page and change the settings on more than one work at a time, refer to How do I edit multiple works at the same time? in the Posting and Editing FAQ.

What happens to comments if I turn off moderation?

If you turn off moderation for a work, any comments left on that work from then on will automatically be published, without the option to review them. However, if you turn off comment moderation for a work that has unreviewed comments, these will stay hidden, and you will still be able to review them even after moderation has been turned off.

For instructions on how to turn comment moderation on or off, refer to How do I moderate comments on my works?

What happens to existing comments when moderation is turned on?

After comment moderation is turned on for a work, only new comments will need to be manually reviewed and approved before they appear publicly. Any existing comments that were made before moderation was turned on will be unaffected.

For instructions on how to turn comment moderation on or off, refer to How do I moderate comments on my works?

What are kudos?

The word "kudos" is from the ancient Greek, meaning "glory" or "renown". One modern definition is "praise given for achievement".

As an Archive feature, kudos are a quick and easy way to let a creator know that you like their work. Once you successfully leave kudos on a work, there will be a message that says "Thank you for leaving kudos!"

You can only give kudos to a work once, even if you have multiple pseuds under your account. (What is a pseud?) You also can't leave kudos on each chapter of a work; however, you can give kudos to every work in a series, as they are separate works.

Why can't I access all the kudos left on my works?

For easier access to the comments section, only the 50 most recent logged-in users to leave kudos are displayed by name. To expand the full list of users who have left kudos on a work, select "and # more user(s)" at the end of the list. To collapse the list again, select "(collapse)" at the end of the expanded list.

Unregistered users and those who are not logged in cannot be identified by the system and are labeled as "guest". Their kudos are counted under "as well as # guests left kudos on this work!"

Can I disable kudos on my works?

We don't offer an option to disable kudos at this time. However, you can opt not to receive notifications that someone has left kudos on your works. For more information on the options for disabling kudos notifications, refer to How do I change the way I receive comment notifications?

If you'd prefer not to encounter comments and kudos from certain users or from any anonymous commenter on your works (or anywhere on Archive Of Our Own!), you can use tuff_ghost's Personal Hellban script and enable either guest blocking, or insert a list of usernames. This will not actually prevent people from commenting or leaving kudos, but will hide anything you specify in your own browser.

Be aware that this is an unofficial tool created by a fan of the Archive, and so the Support team cannot provide assistance or tech support with using the tool. For more fan-created tools to use with AO3, please refer to the Unofficial Browser Tools FAQ.

How will I know if someone leaves kudos on one of my works?

Notifications for kudos left by both logged-in users and guests are sent to the work creator by email if they have this option enabled in their preferences. Refer to How do I change the way I receive comment notifications? for more information. Logged-in users who leave kudos are identified by their usernames. Unregistered users and those who are not logged in cannot be identified by the system and are labeled as "guest".

If you aren't receiving these notifications despite having the preference enabled, it's possible they're being caught in your spam filter. In order to be sure that the notification is not blocked by your email server, you can add do-not-reply@archiveofourown.org to your safelist.

Can I hide or delete kudos I have sent or received?

Kudos cannot be deleted at this time, either by the user who gave kudos or by the user who received it.

If you'd prefer not to encounter comments and kudos from certain users or from any anonymous commenter on your works (or anywhere on Archive Of Our Own!), you can use tuff_ghost's Personal Hellban script and enable either guest blocking, or insert a list of usernames. This will not actually prevent people from commenting or leaving kudos, but will hide anything you specify in your own browser.

Be aware that this is an unofficial tool created by a fan of the Archive, and so the Support team cannot provide assistance or tech support with using the tool.

For more fan-created tools to use with AO3, please refer to the Unofficial Browser Tools FAQ.

Can I leave kudos on each chapter of a multi-chaptered work?

No. When you leave kudos while accessing a particular chapter of a work, it's linked to the work as a whole. If you try to leave kudos on a work you've already left kudos on, the system will alert you with the message "You have already left kudos here. :)".

However, you can give kudos to each individual work in a series, as they are separate works.

Where can I get more information if my question isn't answered here?

Some frequently asked questions about the Archive are answered in the broader Archive FAQ. Questions and answers about our Terms of Service can be found in the Terms of Service FAQ. You may also like to check out our Known Issues. If you need more help, please contact Support.